Indigenous community in North Biak protests against aerospace project

The Indonesian aeronautics and space agency (LAPAN) has been planning the establishment of a space port in Northern Biak since 1980. During the ‘New Order’ era under the dictatorship of military General Suharto, the military forced the indigenous community in Saukobye to release their customary land to LAPAN. The ‘Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Desk of the Evangelical Church in Papua’ (JPIC-GKI) reported that the community now demanded the return of their ancestral land. A former military member tried to attack a GKI pastors and customary land rights holder who criticized LAPAN for lack of transparency and disrespecting FPIC principles during past negotiations over their ancestral land.

 

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Police officers beat up two drivers in Sentani

Three members of the Jayapura District police have beaten up Raimond Penggu (33) and Viki Yikwanak (33) in Sentani near the old market, known as the ‘Pasar Lama’. On 30 July 2018 in the early morning hours, Raimond Penggu and Viki Yikwanak (image on the left) had driven to ‘Pasar Lama’ to meet some of their friends and eat together at a nearby restaurant. On the way back to the car, three police officers approached Raimond and Viki and began to punch and beat them with their rifle butts. According to the online media outlet ‘Suara Papua’, the police members had allegedly suspected the two drivers as the perpetrators in a theft case.

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Lack of Facts and low standard of justice during military trial against perpetrators of extra-judicial killing – AHRC launches urgent appeal

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has launched an urgent appeal in relation to the prosecution of first Sergeant La Dili Wance, Abiatar Harri Katoar and Fredrik Pattiasina at the Military Court III-19 in Jayapura. The three military officers had unlawfully arrested and tortured Mr. Isak Dewayekua (23) on 18 November 2017 in Kimaam Village of Merauke Regency. The following day, Mr Dewayekua passed away due to the severe injuries which he sustained as a result of the torture. According to updated information from the Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence (KontraS), the military trial failed to accumulate important facts and there are concerns regarding the low standards of justice applied by the military investigators and prosecutors.

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Joint Statement: 20th Anniversary of the ‘Biak Massacre’, West Papua

Today – July 6, 2018 – we stand in solidarity with the people of West Papua in commemorating the 20th anniversary of the torture, rape, killing and disappearances of many children, women and men who gathered near a water tower by Biak Port in West Papua for a peaceful protest against the Indonesian Government.

On July 6 1998, the Indonesian security forces opened fire directly on the peaceful protestors, killing five people, injuring four, with  persons missing.[1] Bodies – dead, alive and injured – were gathered up and taken away in military vehicles. Survivors were taken onto ships where torture and killings continued. Parts of their bodies were found floating on the sea in the following days. Meanwhile those still alive were detained and tortured in military facilities. The location of the remains of most of the dead is still unknown.

 

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Military operation in Nduga Regency - Indonesian human rights organisations concerned about attacks against civilians

Joint security forces have conducted a large scale military operation against an armed group of the Papuan Liberation Army (TPN) in the Papuan highland regency Nduga. The security forces allegedly fired automatic firearms and grenades from two helicopters. The attack occurred on 11 July 2018 in the afternoon and focused on the village Alguru, which the Indonesian military suspects as a stronghold of the local TPN. Media sources reported that the attack did not cause civilian victims. However, local human rights defenders shared information according to which villagers have fled into the surrounding forests and neighboring regencies. On 19 July, a group of 33 refugees from Nduga regency arrived in the city of Merauke. At least ten further refugees have reportedly fled to Timika city.

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UN High commissioner questions invitation from Indonesian Government

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al-Hussein, visited Indonesia from 5 to 7 February 2018. During the press conference in Jakarta, the High Commissioner expressed - among other things -concerns regarding the human rights situation in West Papua. He also announced that the Indonesian president Joko Widodo has invited his regional office in Bangkok to visit West Papua. In his opening statement and global update of human rights concerns at the 38th session of the Human Rights Council,  Zeid Raad Al Hussein, has questioned the invitation from the Indonesian government to visit West Papua: “… I am concerned that despite positive engagement by the authorities in many respects, the Government’s invitation to my Office to visit Papua – which was made during my visit in February – has still not been honoured."

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Human Rights Update West Papua - covering April - June 2018

The second quarter of 2018 was characterized by a slight increase in the number of reported extra-judicial killings. Throughout the past quarters, this number varied between one and three cases. Local human rights defenders have now reported five such cases between April and June 2018. During this reporting period, there is a significantly high percentage of extra-judicial killings and torture cases which were related to the unnecessary and excessive use of firearms by the police and the military. This pattern indicates that security forces often fail to settle conflicts in a non-violent professional manner. Contrary to previous quarters, no cases of epidemic outbreaks or other health rights violations have been reported.

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Brawl between Papuan students and nationalist mass organisation in Malang - Police fails to protect Papuan students' freedom of assembly

The International Coalition for Papua has received credible information about the ill-treatment of West Papuan students in Malang, East Java. The case is emblematic for the continuing pattern of racial and political violence, discrimination and violations of the right to assembly and expression that indigenous Papuans face in Indonesia. The Papuan Student Alliance AMP reported that Papuan students organised a political discussion to commemorate the 47th anniversary of the West Papuan State proclamation on 1 July 1971. Around 7.30 pm, joint security personnel accompanied by intelligence officers entered the premises without showing a warrant and forced the participants to leave. A crowd of supporters from nationalist mass movements ill-treated and insulted the Papuan students, making racist comments. Some supporters entered and smashed the premises. Police officers witnessing the ill-treatments failed to protect the students from the mob attack. During the incident, at least seven Papuan students sustained injuries as a result of the ill-treatments.

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Intimidation of Papuan students in Surabaya – female student activist sexually assaulted by police officer

A government official and joint security forces have again intimidated Papuan students in the city of Surabaya, East Java Province. A similar case had already occurred six days earlier on 1 July 2018 in the Javanese city Malang. On 6 July 2018, more than 100 security force officers, some of them fully equipped with automatic rifles, and the head of Tambaksari sub-district, Mr. Ridwan Mubarun, came to the Papuan student dormitory. The security forces were allegedly accompanied by members of nationalist mass movements. Mr. Ridwan Mubarun initiated the police operation to disperse the peaceful assembly, which the students organised to commemorate the 20. anniversary of the ‘Biak Massacre’. As the students and a lawyer from the Surabaya Legal Aid Institute (LBH Surabaya) requested the warrant, a heated argument followed. Police officers forcefully dragged several students away from the crowd. According to information from LBH Surabaya, a female student was sexually harassed during the police operation.

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Death threats against Papuan Human Rights Defender

The chairman of the Human Rights Advocacy Network on Law Enforcement and Human Rights of the Papuan Central Highlands (JAPH-HAM), Mr. Theo Hesegem (see image on the left), reported that he has received death threats from the campaign team of Yahukimo's Regent Abock Busop. On 25 June 2018, several campaign members came to Theo Hesegem’s house, insulted him and acussed him of having misused government funds allocated to a village in the Kurima district of Yahukimo Regency. During the heated dispute, the campaigners allegedly threatened to kill Theo Hesegem.

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More Articles...

  1. Amnesty International publishes new report on extra-judicial killings and impunity in West Papua
  2. Local elections in highland regencies Puncak Jaya and Nduga accompanied by violent clashes leaving 6 people dead
  3. Joint security forces allegedly kill indigenous Papuan during crowd control operation in Jayawijaya Regency
  4. Papuan pastor and villager ill-treated in Kaimana Regency
  5. Police and military collectively torture Papuan fisherman in Sorong
  6. Unlawful arrests reported from Timika – three Papuans prosecuted and ill-treated
  7. Right to Health in West Papua – report on UN Special Rapporteur mission to Indonesia published
  8. ALRC concerned about extra-judicial executions and ongoing impunity
  9. Australian Green Party underlines commitment for human rights situation in West Papua
  10. Military member kills indigenous Papuan in Yapen Island
  11. Conflict over customary land in Tambrauw Regency - Indigenous Mpur communities reject corn plantation company
  12. 14 indigenous Papuans arbitrarily arrest in Nimbontong District
  13. Greenpeace investigation reveals involvement of international companies in massive destruction of Papuan rainforest
  14. Yulianus Yeimo passed away – number of dead victims in the ‘Bloody Paniai Case' rises from four to five
  15. Police officers collectively ill-treat man and journalist during political debate in Nabire Regency
  16. Update on shooting in Mauwa - Gerry Goo succumbs to his injuries
  17. Indonesia and EU negotiate on free trade agreement - NGOs demand Palm oil to be excluded from trade
  18. Allegations regarding excessive use of force during military operation in Opitawak Village – at least one dead and two injured
  19. Solomon Islands Government delegation visits West Papua - Civil society groups concerned
  20. UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food closes Indonesia visit with end of mission statement – Situation in West Papua needs the Government’s serious attention
  21. Unprofessional behavior of security forces lead to shooting in Mauwa Village – two villagers sustain bullet injuries
  22. Human Rights Update West Papua - April 2018 (covering Jan-Mar 2018)
  23. UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food visits Indonesia
  24. Security forces unlawfully arrest 45 university students in Jayapura
  25. Police officer beats Papuan man at public hospital in Karubaga, Tolikara Regency
  26. Asian Human Rights Commission urges Indonesian Government to review new Penal Code Bill
  27. Disappointment over court ruling in Poumako Case – military court sentences perpetrator to eight months
  28. Joint oral statement regarding situation of malnutrition in West Papua at the 37th session of the UN Human Rights Council
  29. Presence of militant Islamic leader in Kerom creates tensions
  30. Indigenous woman shot dead in Timika – seven mobile police brigade officers under investigation